HomeMoviesLost Picture Show: King Arthur

Lost Picture Show: King Arthur

bill bodkin looks at a recently forgotten sword epic…

Release Date: July 7, 2004

First Saw It: Movie night with Dad in 2005.

What Drew Me to See It: I’m a sucker for a sword movie.

Why Is It Lost?: King Arthur was released at the worst time — sandwiched between Spider-Man 2 and Anchorman. This sword flick, littered with a cast of mostly unknowns, outside of Pirates of the Caribbean siren Keira Knightley had no chance to capture the audience Pirates did the year before nor mainstream audiences who were flocking to see Peter Parker and Ron Burgundy. Also hurting the film’s chance was the ‘alternate’ take on the Arthurian legend.

Starring: Clive Owen, Keira Knightley, Ioan Gruffud, Ray Winstone, Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelesen, Joel Edgerton, Ray Stevenson, Stephen Dillane, Stellan Skarsgard, Til Schweiger.

Before-They-Were-Stars Appearances: The entire cast outside of Knightley and Skarsgard. Owen was a virtual unknown outside of his BMW ads and his appearance in the Bourne Identity — he’s obviously gone onto bigger things. Gruffud went on to be Mr. Fantastic in the awful Fantastic Four films. Winstone went onto gruff fame in The Departed. Dancy went onto cable stardom in The Big C. Mikkelsen has become a staple character actor in big budget films like Casino Royale. Stevenson has become another character actor, most notably in The Other Guys. Edgerton has become the king of Aussie crime drama with Animal Kingdom and starred in Warrior. Dillane went on to big things in Game of Thrones and Til Schweiger was Lt. Hugo Stiglitz in Inglorious Basterds.

Almost Starring: When director Antoine Fuqua came on board he wanted Daniel Craig as King Arthur.

The Best Performance: Clive Owen. He showed his steely British grit that he would become famous for the first time in American cinemas here. He also proved he was more than a capable action star.

The Supporting Scene Stealer: Winstone as the oft-drunk brawler Bors. Winstone ate scenery as the mercurial member of the Round Table.

The Moment to Remember: There are a lot of epic battles scenes, including a bloody finale, but the scene where the Knights, Arthur and Keira Knightley’s Guinevere face an army of Saxons on a fragile plain of ice. The thought of killing the outer members of the Saxon army, forcing the rest to cluster together in order to make the ice break, was not only clever-in film strategy, but a nice piece of tense action.

The Memorable Quote:

Bors: How many did you kill?
Tristan: Four.
Bors: Not a bad start to the day.


The Groan Moment: The Knights, after years of indentured servitude to The Romans, have finally won their freedom and can leave England. However, it’s at a time when the Saxons are just about to invade and the Romans are fleeing. Bors ride up to Arthur and gives a war cry and Arthur returns it. It’s this really nonsensical and not important moment.

Why I Can’t Stop Watching It: It’s such a fun action flick — filled with blood and guts, over-the-top performances and epic battle scenes.

Bill Bodkin
Bill Bodkinhttps://thepopbreak.com
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break, and most importantly a husband, and father. Ol' Graybeard writes way too much about wrestling, jam bands, Asbury Park music, HBO shows, and can often be seen under his season DJ alias, DJ Father Christmas. He is the co-host of the Socially Distanced Podcast (w/Al Mannarino) which drops weekly on Apple, Google, Anchor & Spotify. He is the co-host of the monthly podcasts -- Anchored in Asbury, TV Break and Bill vs. The MCU.

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